Keynote Speakers

Emily Achieng’ Akuno

Emily Achieng’ Akuno studied at Kenyatta University, Kenya, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, USA and Kingston University, UK. She is Past President and treasurer of the International Music Council, the Paris-based UNESCO-affiliated NGO umbrella organisation of worldwide music organisations and bodies.. She is a member of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), where she has served as commissioner and chair of Music in School and Teacher Education Commission (MISTEC), member of the Board of Directors, Interim Secretary General and President. She is a long-time participant at PASMAE and ISME conferences and has pioneered research projects covering multiple countries of Africa. Through ISME presidency, she served as chair of World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE), the UNESCO-affiliated alliance that brings together four main international arts education organisations. She is the founding chair of the Music Education Research Group – Kenya (MERG-Kenya), a network of Kenyan higher music education practitioner-researchers who are keen on ‘looking at ours to build ours’ towards the growth of a robust music scholarship and practice in Kenya, and the region.

A professor of music, Emily has taught music performance and education at high school and university levels in Kenya (Kenyatta University, Maseno University and now the Technical University of Kenya) and South Africa (the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban). She has been privileged to work with talented students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, interrogating matters around curriculum, pedagogy and contexts of music teaching and learning. She has also served as external examiner for written papers and master’s and doctoral theses and dissertations for a number of universities in Africa.

Emily’s publications cover the concept, contexts, content and procedures of music and music education, with a recent interest in what music does and can achieve in society. She is editor and author of books and articles on music and teacher education in cultural contexts, including the continent-covering title Music Education in Africa: Concept, Process. and Practice (Routledge, 2019).

Avril Joffe

Avril Joffe is the Post Graduate Coordinator (and former Head) of the Cultural Policy and Management Department at the Wits School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.  She is an economic sociologist with experience in the field of cultural policy, culture and development and the cultural economy.  Avril works in the intersection of academia and practice in fields such as culture in urban life, culture and the cultural economy in realising a just and sustainable development, fairness in international cultural cooperation, decent work and the rights and status of artists and cultural professionals as well as teaching pedagogy for post graduate studies in the cultural economy. Avril is an active member of UNESCO’s Panel of Experts for Cultural Policy and Governance, the Global Creative Economy Council associated with the UK’s Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, the International Cultural Relations Research Alliance as well as International CREATOUR, a creative tourism advisory body. She is on the external international advisory panel for IN SITU – Place-based innovation of cultural and creative industries in non-urban areas” coordinated by the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme. She is a Guest Lecturer at numerous universities from Antwerp to Serbia. Recent public research related to inequality includes Informality and the cultural economy in the Global South published by the British Council, the Not a Toolkit for EUNIC’s Fair Collaboration project and Promoting Decent Work for the African Cultural and Creative Economy for the ILO.  For the purposes of this assignment Avril has completed many evaluations ranging from the British Council’s Creative Economy Programme in Nigeria (2013), the British Council’s Culture Shift Programme (Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa) (2013), Pro Helvetia funding programme (Zimbabwe/ South Africa) (2018-2019), and the Interarts consortium’s Culture @Work Africa Programme in Sub Saharan Africa (2020-2021) to contributing with Nordicity to the British Council report on the Missing Pillar and a research study on how state parties envisage the Integration of Culture in Sustainable Development for UNESCO’s 2018 Global report.

Avril’s creative practice is dance and is a second-degree black belt Nia dance instructor and a Spanish dancer.

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Akosua Obuo Addo

Associate Professor Akosua Obuo Addo teaches music education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN. Previously, she was an assistant professor of music education at the University of Connecticut, Visiting a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Roehampton Institute, London, and administrator for the Centre for Intercultural Music Arts, City University in London. Fulbright U.S. Scholar (2019-2020) Addo serves as the research chair for the Minnesota Society for Music Teacher Education. In addition to book chapters, Addo’s research in teacher education and ethnographies of children’s singing games has been presented at conferences and published in professional and research journals.

Isaac Richard Amuah

Professor Isaac Richard Amuah is a professor of Music Education at the Department of Music and Dance, University of Cape Coast – Ghana.  He was the founding Chair of the theatre program at the University of Cape Coast and later introduced the study of Dance in the Department of Music at the University of Cape Coast.  He is a former Dean of the University’s Office for International Relations.  His areas of research and focus include many areas in Music Education, Philosophy of Music and Music Psychology.  Prof. Isaac Amuah has contributed immensely to the development and growth of Music Education in Ghana, having been among other things, a co-author to the most definitive book on the history of music education in Ghana.